Angry Indian Goddesses: Pan Nalin- Movie Review

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The movie Angry Indian Goddesses begins as a rib-cracking feminist comedy with a group of friends at its centre meeting for a wedding in metropolitan India. However, it soon turns into a sad and dark tale as it approaches the end. Pan Nalin, the director, effortlessly manages to weave the two extremes together to create a tale that is memorable, entertaining, vital, and emotionally provoking. 

Frieda, a successful and beloved photographer has invited her lifelong friends, all from varying backgrounds to attend her wedding at her Goa home. Frieda doesn’t want anyone to know about who she’s marrying and most of the party guests are left confused and angry. However, most of them take advantage of the party to get to know each other and reconnect with each other as they reveal their frustrations about the patriarchal society they come from.

Jo, a Mumbai based actress is frustrated at being constantly portrayed as a damsel in distress in her acting roles that display her as a sexual figure rather than acknowledging her acting skills. In the same breath, Mad, a singer-songwriter, is tired of getting booed because of performing soul-bearing material for drunks who would rather listen to pop sung by a pretty girl. 

Similarly, things aren’t so great for Su either; she’s a hard-core business woman who is scared of losing control of the multinational she’s given her life to. Her fears are accentuated by the arrival of Nargis, a political activist who has managed to cock-block a lucrative opportunity for the company Su works for. Lakshmi, Jo’s housemaid is not ok after her brother’s murderer is released from prison.  

Before the beginning of the second act, there are already clues as to who Freida is going to marry. Once it gets here, the movie stops being original and borrows its plot from hundreds of other movies with the same storyline. But, where it lacks in originality, it makes up for in hitting its audience with pointed observations and raw emotions of a culture that needs a serious overhaul when it comes to how it handles issues of equality. 

The women are justified and have pointed reasons as to why they should be angry; sometimes at each other but mostly, at the outside world. When impassioned people with slightly varying ideologies take part in discourse and conversation, there is bound to be some excitement in store for anyone who is watching them. 

Once the lighthearted scenes have been exhausted, Nalin cleverly transforms the movie into a tragedy befitting of his agenda. The movie morphs into a tale that speaks of significant human rights issues that have been a part of India too long. These issues however, never get anyone to elaborate on them.

Even though Nalin’s artwork is a crowd pleaser, it still has the depth and the perception to act as a genuine call to those who are ready to take action. It is definitely a must-watch.

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